Cloth education and service for low income families

Thursday, March 31, 2011
Have you all seen this article?

I've been throwing around the idea of being an active advocate for cloth diapers some how. I mean, I kind of already am - I pretty much preach cloth to anyone willing to listen, and I'm trying to let everyone I know know about the Great Cloth Diaper Change in my area. But I'm taking it one step further now. With the help of some friends.

I'm going to work my hardest at setting up a way to provide cloth diapering education to low income families. I'm going to approach our local WIC office, social services, and the pregnancy center armed with math facts, charts, and my proposal. I'm also hoping that we'll be able to start a cloth service for families in need who participate in cloth diaper education classes.

Oh I know.... I'm have a feeling I'll get overwhelmed adding this to my already large plate of responsibilities. But this is important. This can help other people. Doing this will set an excellent example for my son, all while scratching this itch I have for cloth diaper advocacy.

Wish me luck!

Cloth is Green Giveaway!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011
Check out Mama B's Cloth Is Green Giveaway! You could get 2 itti bitti's and some CJ's butter!

AppleCheeks Giveaway!

Happenings of the Harper Household is doing an AppleCheeks giveaway!

WubbaNub Giveaway!

Andersons Angels is doing a WubbaNub Pacifier giveaway!

Enter now! It's ending today!

March for Babies - we are walking!

Monday, March 28, 2011
As you can see by my neat little side bar <-- I've decided to walk for healthier babies in the March for Babies. Of course, since my son was 5 weeks premature, I am absolutely wanting to help this cause! Will any of you sponsor me? Even teeny tiny donations are welcome =) Every penny counts and we are thankful for even just your thoughts and well wishes!

My first cloth diaper review! Bummis Super Whisper Wraps & Kissaluvs Fitteds

Friday, March 25, 2011
First and foremost its about time you all met Turtle-Love =)

Turtle-Love and his new sock monkey =) Yes, the sock monkey is bigger than my son *shrug* Turtle-Love is currently 8 pounds 14 ounces, and about 21 1/2 inches tall.

Now - on to diapers!
About a month ago I purchased a few Kissaluvs fitteds and a couple Bummis Super Whisper Wraps and now that we have thoroughly "tested" them... I'd like to share our experience with you all! I couldn't review them on their own because we use them together. BTW - I did contact both Bummis and Kissaluv to get permission to review these items, but what I write is my own opinion and that is it.

Kissaluvs fitted
Link ^ =)
This is really nice - we are using a size 0 and fits Turtle-Love really well. It fits babies from about 5 - 15 pounds. It also snaps down at the front to make room for umbilical cord care, or to shorten the rise for little babies *hint hint* I have five of them, in different colors, and they snap on. It was really easy to show Toad how to use these, and I love how they feel kinda like a towel, which we all know are absorbent!
The thing to remember with these is they are not waterproof, so you will need a cover for them (see below). Also, they take a long time to dry. I usually run them through the drier once, then hang them on a drying rack to dry over night. But really they are designed to absorb and retain moisture so I'd say a long dry time makes perfect sense! They are very very very absorbent. They do not have a stay dry lining to them, so your baby will feel the wetness, which I've found with these and only these Turtle-Love doesn't mind until its soaked.

We have tested it for both wet and mess, and even with his breastfed runny poo of grossness (hah!) the mess stayed in. Only once did it get on the outside of the fitted, and that was my own fault for leaving him in it a little longer because I thought he wasn't done. But, even if that happens, with the right cover its not a big deal. This is where Bummis comes in...

Link ^ =)

I love this wrap! Its super durable and available in really cute prints. We have this in Newborn size and it fits just wonderfully over the fitteds, and really well with other random inserts too (we've done this on occasion for laundry day). The Newborn size will accommodate from about 7 - 10 pounds. The velcro closure is really simple and provides a super custom fit. You can even over lap the tabs for little babies *hint hint*

If you use this cover with inserts there is a nifty little pocket on the inside front to tuck them into so they stay in place, along with the mess. If you use an insert be sure it is absorbent enough for your baby and the length of time between changes. The only time the wrap leaked was with a different insert and Turtle-Love had flooded it. Of course the wrap is meant to keep wetness in, not standing liquid.

We've been using these two together for about a month and we have not had a single leak! Wet or mess! In fact this is the only "system" in my current stash I can say that about.

I hope this review was helpful for you all. Please feel free to ask questions!

Keeping your child safe in the car

Tuesday, March 22, 2011
I had typed a whole long entry about this but for whatever reason it didn't post. *sigh* So here is the snippet version, because this is really about spreading information.

The AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) changed their guidelines on car seat standards. The Stir has a great overview about it here -->

Dum dum dum-dum

Sunday, March 13, 2011
Since I'm writing this right before bed, and we are about to lose an hour to daylight savings time... I'm going to try to make this quick...

We booked a venue for our wedding! We set the date in stone - Oct 15th this year - and chose a local hotel for the ceremony and reception. I had said I really did not want a hotel wedding, but this hotel has floor to ceiling windows for their ballroom and an outdoor terrace for our ceremony. Its really pretty not to mention they are within our itty bitty budget! Did I mention we are paying for our wedding? Yep. Just us. Its okay though - we chose not to ask anyone for help with this. I'm not one to ask for money in the first place, but also - I don't see why we should ask for someone to pay for the things we want. If I want something done my way, well I'm damn sure going to be the one paying for it. I don't want to be someone elses burden.
ANYHOW... we booked our location, they also cater and provide all the tables and chairs and such. I've already picked out and mostly paid for my dress (its on layway hahahaha) and the bridesmaids dresses have been chosen, along with the flower girls dresses and the groomsmen and grooms tuxes. Things left to do for the wedding....
  • Turtle-Loves ring bearer tux
  • Florist/flowers
  • DJ
  • Cake
  • Photographer(s)
  • Register somewhere
  • Party gifts
  • miscellaneous details
Well the list didn't seem that long before I wrote it. Eh. I feel much better about it all now that I've got SOMETHING taken care of. Oh right, and save the date cards and invitations. I want to get our save the date cards ordered this week.

So something that I'm struggling with regarding the wedding is other people's opinions. I know I know... they really don't matter, and I shouldn't care what other people think. But to an certain extent I guess I do. Or maybe, I guess it just bothers me people wont get over themselves and understand this day is for us - they are being invited to come celebrate WITH us. This is not a show to impress them. So - I'm just trying to keep that in mind when I listen to everyones opinion and their advice. I know that our wedding will be perfect because its being put together for us by us to be everything we want it to be. I'm hoping the end result will represent us well - both as individuals and as a couple.

Moving along...

I got another diaper in the mail today xD I'm so excited! I got it on eBay for way cheap and its comprable to the GoGreen Pocket Diaper Champ - at least that is what the boards say... I have yet to own a Champ, or even see one. Anyhow - this diaper is super exciting! I can't wait to get it washed and use it! PS- the Mommy's touch diapers may be a little too big for now, but the Lil Joeys fit great! I'm going to start reviewing this weekish I hope.

I'm supposed to not buy anymore "fluff" for the time being. Really, we have about two days worth of cloth because Turtle-Love still sleeps in sposies. That will change once we get more used to them. Really, its once Toad gets used to them because he does the middle of the night changes. Regardless, the point - or at least one of my major selling points - of cloth diapering is to save money. I can't very well claim that if I buy every diaper I think is cute. FOr now, we have enough diapers. I'm going to keep my eye out for super good deals though. I did just purchase two wet bags and two pail liners from GoGreen Pocket Diapers. I think they are the best price I've found!

Well - its getting late and in about 45 minutes when daylight savings time kicks in it will only be later so we are off to bed to try and get Mr. Turtle-Love to actually sleep. He likes to play when we lay down =D

I love this little boy!


Friday, March 11, 2011
The Cloth Diaper Whisperer is doing a Fluff Friday giveaway!

WAHM and student... reconsidering?

Thursday, March 10, 2011
As a mom (or dad) do you ever feel like all you want to do is be home with your child? If you could just work from home, go to school from home. Life would be perfect.

That is what I thought.

Except now, working from home is really hard. Between nursing, changing, supplement feeding, soothing, and otherwise carring for Turtle-Love I also have to walk the dog, remember to feed myself, find time to go to the bathroom, oh yeah - and work. Answering emails one handed is difficult but do-able. Often by the time I have an answer typed one of my coworkers has already responded. Answering customer phone calls is really difficult when your child spends 80% of your work hours 3 of those 5 days being very vocal. I know, I know. Be thankful. Thankful that my company is allowing me to work from home at all. That I am able to have the opportunity to spend the whole day with my son and still have a steady income. I am! I am very greatful for the company I work for!

In addition to working 30 hours a week from home, I also take three classes online. I signed up for online classes so I would be able to be home with my son but still work towards a degree of some sort. Further my education. I specifially chose classes I thought would be low maintenance or atleast some what easy since I knew I would have a new baby during the semester. Web Design - pretty much how I pictured it. Child Health & Nutrition - great and I'm learning a ton of very useful information! Art Appreciation - I should have known better. The assignments are much more spread out compared to my other two classes, but they are also papers. Written papers. They are easy by comparisson to most college papers! I'm currently working on a four page paper for my midterm. Yep, thats it. Four pages is a midterm. But uh, I'm having trouble with it.

My head is elsewhere I guess. I used to be great at writting papers, even if I couldn't even begin to comprehend the topic I could still write a darn good paper about it! But now, I don't know. I guess I just have too much else to think about. I can't get my head on track with this topic, and its due by noon tomorrow. Along with a test I need to study for for web design. *sigh*

In my dream world - I open a local daycare. Just something small with a friend. We would cloth diaper and babywear the children and it would be great! We actually have brainstormed it and we have a few innovative ideas that I wont talk about here because, well because we actually hope to do it! Now - to be honest I love children but now that I have my own child I really don't like the idea of dividing my attention from him every day. Once in a while sure of course, I love to baby sit for my friends. But everyday? I don't think I could. I'd love to just tell someone my ideas and kind of run the daycare behind the scenes. Set the parameters or something. In my other dream world - I stay home and make cloth diapers and wet bags and nursing covers =) I'm decent with a sewing machine just need some brushing up.

So anyhow - all of this has me thinking if I really want to try to go to school right now. After some thought I've decided that bewteen Turtle-Love being born, planning our wedding, preparing for my confirmation and Turtle-Love's baptism, working, and trying to keep the house straight - maybe school is just a little too much. I mean, I would love to be the girl who did it all, all at once. But maybe - maybe I need to take time to breathe? Turtle-Love will only be this little for a little while. Maybe I'll take a break until January. Turtle-Love will be one, Toad and I will be married, and I'll have gotten into a better rhythm being a mom. Maybe by then something will have changed with work - who knows. I know that right now, right now I'm sad I have a paper to write and can't focus on it. I'm sad that I have to type this while I nurse Turtle-Love because if I'm not multi-tasking I'm falling behind.

Using Cloth Diapers In Hospitals

This is a great article I just read --> Using Cloth Diapers In Hospitals

New diapers have arrived!

I'll admit... I'm slowly(kinda) becoming addicted to cloth diapers. =D I just received my newest purchase - 2 Rumparooz lil Joeys, and 2 Mommy's Touch. I'm hoping Turtle-Love goes through a ton of diapers today so I can get these washed!  xD I think I'll start "reviewing" my diapers and gadgets that I own - I'd love to share how these things work with a preemie!

We bedshare - do you?

Wednesday, March 9, 2011
Iwas inspired to write this entry after reading this -->
Which I found when The Cloth Diaper Whisperer posted it on their Facebook -->
This was a great article!!

I was raised in a family bed. My little sister and I would sleep in our parents bed when we were little. When I was 6 we moved houses. Sometimes I slept in Mom's bed, sometimes I slept in my own. When I was sick I always slept with mom. I loved the comfort I felt sleeping in my mom's bed. Even if I was home sick from school and I was the only one in bed, I liked my mom's bed because I just always felt better there.

While I was pregnant Toad and I determined that we would definately not bedshare. For us, it was an idea that seemed too dangerous - I couldn't trust him not to roll over and squish our child! And absolutely nothing wakes him up. Well, you know what I mean.

Our son spent his first night in the world with his head under a clear plastic bubble - an oxyhood. He wasn't allowed out of the nursery. We couldn't hold him. It was sad. Know what everyone told me? ..."Enjoy it now, sleeping through the night. Once he comes home you wont get the chance"...  Did people really expect me to sleep through the night? While my son was alone (aside from his nurse) in a bed with a lamp for heat, and machine noise for comfort? Really? The next night he spent at a different hospital, in the NICU. He was now hooked to a CPAP machine instead of under an oxyhood. We still couldn't hold him because he had an umbilical line. He certainly couldn't leave and we couldn't sleep there. He was doing so much better already though, and in the NICU - it was easy to see we were very fortunate by comparison.

A week and some days went by and Cooper got much better. He no longer needed the CPAP, not even a nasal cannula (think old people oxygen tubes). We had started holding him, and Cooper and I had begun I journey breastfeeding. The NICU has a special family room. Since Cooper was no longer on any machine other than monitoring, and he no longer needed the warmer, and we were breastfeeding, we were allowed to room in with him. Finally we could spend the night with our son. They told us not to put him in the bed with us. My response ... "Are you serious? Of course I wont! He is way too little! We've always said bed sharring wasn't for us anyways." At that point Turtle-Love weighed about 5 and a half pounds. That night Turtle-Love spent the night next to us - him in his little hospital bassinet, us in the bed next to him. I was terrified I wouldn't wake up to him. That was pretty much my biggest parenting fear. But, when the time came I woke to every whimper. We spent two nights at the hospital rooming in.

Finally it was time for Turtle-Love to come home! I had a crib, a pack n play with a bassinet, and a moses basket. We also had a pooh bear bassinet I dispised but my best friend gave ti to us for free - they had used it at her MIL's house for thier son. With the pack n play downstairs we decided Turtle-Love would sleep in his moses basket, in the crib. The crib is in our room.

He wouldn't sleep in the moses basket. He fussed, not cried. And I spent every fifteen minutes checking on him because I was afraid he would wiggle himself into the side, which was thick fabric, and suffocate. Finally I reluctantly but him in the bassinet and pulled it next to my side of the bed. He would whimper and whine a bit at first, then slept for five hours. Oh thank heavens!

Soon, that changed. He started waking up every three hours or so. Then wouldn't go back to sleep. One night he woke me up every hour. Then the same thing the next night. That night I figured out nursing while laying on my side. I dozed off like that and immediately moved him to his bassinet when I woke. I scared myself. The next night I caved. He had woken me up everyhour if he didn't cry through that hour. Around 7 am I put him in the bed with me, I scooted all the way into Toad and put Turtle-Love on my other side with the bassinet and my night stand against the side of the bed, and we both fell asleep. The next night after he woke me twice and refused to go back down, I tried the bed again and he was immediately out. We splet that way, but I was still afraid of him being in the bed with us. The next morning we figured out the bassinet I hated actually had a side that came off and tucked under the mattress to become a co-sleeper. We tried that for a few nights, but again it came to the point where in my exhaustion around 6 am I would put him in bed with me. The next night we had plans to be somewhere in the morning and I knew the only way I would get any sleep was to have Turtle-Love in bed with us.

Turtle-Love has slept in our bed ever sense. Every once in a while I tried to put him in our co-sleeping bassinet but he wont sleep there. I stopped fighting it. We live with my mom, and she of course supports the family bed. Not many other people do. Everyone tells me I need to move him before he gets clingy. Blah blah blah. Everyone has their own opinion and that is fine.

I know bedsharring works for us. I know that on average I sleep for five hours straight, wake up to change nurse and pump, and we almost always go right back down for a nap that is between 1 and 3 hours long, longer if I don't have anything to do in the morning. I'm the envy of my mommy frends whos babies are older than Turtle-Love and eat less frequently but still keep them up all night. I know that I love watching him play right before we go to sleep. He lays between us and coos and wiggles and kicks and throws himself around with his arms. He makes faces at me. Then he lets me know he is ready for bed, or sometimes for a snack and then bed. I snuggle him beside me, both of us on our side facing each other. I trade off which side every two nights or so. I keep the bassinet attached to our bed with a roller pillow on the edge between the bed and the bassinet as our bed rail for now. Toad hardly ever moves in his sleep and if he does I wake up. I guess its an instinct because if Turtle-Love is on my otherside Toad can do flips and it wont wake me. I love waking up to him nuzzling his face to my breast looking for food, usually with his hand in his way. Silly little Turtle-Love.

Anyhow - I guess my point was that I appreciate bedsharring, and while I planned not to do it it is working well for us.

Hi there! New here =)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011
Hello! This is just going to be a very long and informative post to get things going...

Preemie ♥
I'm 24, my fiance is 26. We have a 3 month (12 week) old son with an adjusted age of 2 months (7 weeks). Whats an adjusted age? Well, our son was born 5 weeks early - meaning he is a preemie. Preemies have adjusted ages - they have a birth date which is the actual day they were born, and an adjusted date which is the day they were due. This is important because preemies will have a different rate of developing because they didn't finish up inside pretty much. For example - my son's adjusted age is 2 months, so even though he is 3 months old we look at the 2 month milestones and growth charts to see how he measures up and is developing.

Speaking of Turtle-Love, I probably should have started with this! He was born December 5th, 2010 at 2:39 pm. He weighed in at 5 pounds 12 ounces and 18 1/2 inches long. I was only in labor for about 8 or so hours - all natural birth, no drugs or anything, but I did have IV antibiotics since I wasn't full term. Turtle-Love had trouble breathing and spent the night under an Oxyhood in the nursery and the next day was transported to the other local hospital to be cared for in their NICU. He spent a week and a  half there with what the nurses called Wimpy White Boy Syndrome lol. He needed surfactant because he didn't have the chance to make enough in the womb - app this condition is rare in "children of color" - my son is actually bi-racial, he is 1/8 Korean, the rest Caucasian. I guess my Granny's genes just weren't strong enough lol.

Breast feeding
Turtle-Love is breastfed. Though, we are having trouble getting him to gain enough weight so right now he is getting an additional ounce after each daytime feeding via bottle. Sometimes this is EBM (expressed breast milk) and sometimes preemie formula. Depends on if I have any stashed at the time. I'm not having much success with pumping and I've been worried about my milk supply. We bought a baby scale and we weigh him before and after each nursing when we are home. He on average gets an 1.5 ounces from me every 1.5 hours. I've read an infant is supposed to eat 2.5 times their weight in ounces. So Turtle-Love is 8lbs 4 oz he should be eating 20-21 ounces a day. I'm going to be trying lactation cookies called Milkin' Cookies so we will see if that helps.

Cloth Diapers
I am cloth diapering Turtle-Love. I've just started Saturday. So far my stash consists of 5 Kissaluv fitteds size 0, a Thirsties x-small cover, 2 Bummis Super Whisper Wraps in Newborn, a Bambino MioSoft cover in Newborn, a Baby Soft Wrap in small without the snap in liner, 6 Sun Baby 3.0 pocket diapers, and 6 Sun Baby 4.0 pocket diapers. I'm also currently borrowing 2 tiny gPants with gCloths, a Flip cover and stay dry liner, and an Econobum with prefold. .... I think thats all of them. Oh - I also have 6 Mother-Ease Sandy's absorbant liners and a Bottombumpers snap in one size small. So far its going well. The Sun Baby 4.0s are too big but the 3.0s fit okay just bulky, then again everything is. The Flip and Econobum are big and bulky on him but haven't leaked. Actually both have stood up to poosplosions! The Mother-Ease insert are very trim but they also don't absorb nearly as much as my other diapers. The Sun Babys are great with absorbing - no poo yet. I am loving the Kissaluvs with and without a cover - though without they of course are not water proof. They fit him really well, as do the all the covers. Right now I do not like the Baby Soft Wrap. It has leaked everytime we've used it. I use it with the Mother-Ease inserts. I'm going to try doubling the inserts. Maybe the PUL is bad on this one though - I bought it "pre-loved" but maybe these inserts just wont work with it. Its going to take some trouble shooting. I have 5 new diapers in the mail - 2 Rumparooz lil Joeys, 2 Mother's Touch, and an off brand from eBay that is suposed to be comparable to the GoGreen Pocket Diaper Champ. Can't wait for them to get here! 

Right now I'm we are still planning our wedding. We are going to be married October 15th - November 11th is our back up day. I found my dress and put it on lawaway at Davids Bridal. Now that I've gotten my taxes back I'll be going to pay it off adn bring it home - taking it to my dad's for safe keeping. I've also picked out the bridesmaids dresses and the flower girls dresses. Everyone is wearing a different color. We love color so why not use them all? Hah! Yesterday Turtle's daddy - henceforth reffered to as Toad - Toad and I went and picked out his tux and the groomsmen's tuxes. What we are I am really working on right now is the venue. Planning a wedding is tough work! Especially while working, and going to school, and taking care of Turtle-Love.

So...... I think that pretty much covers the major bullet points of my life right now. Off to do homework and feed Turtle-Love!